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  • Implementing Run Configurations in IntelliJ IDEA

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A run configuration provides the user with the possibility to run a certain type of external process (script, application server etc.) from within the IDE. You can provide UI for the user to specify execution options, as well as the possibility to create run configuration based on a specific location in the source code.

In this document, we'll start with explaining the core concepts used by the run configuration API and then will proceed to look at the sequence of steps required to implement a typical run configuration.


The Executor interface describes a specific way of executing any possible run configuration. The three default executors provided by the IntelliJ Platform by default are Run, Debug and (in IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate and certain platform-based IDEs) Run with Coverage. Each executor gets its own toolbar button, which starts the selected run configuration using this executor, and its own context menu item for starting a configuration using this executor.

As a plugin developer, you normally don't need to implement the Executor interface. However, it can be useful, for example, if you're implementing a profiler integration and want to provide the possibility to execute any configuration with profiling.


The starting point for implementing any run configuration type is the ConfigurationType interface. Your implementation of that interface needs to be registered in the <configurationType> extension point in plugin.xml.